The occasion was a tasting of wines from Herdade do Sobroso presented by Filipe Teixeira Pinto over a lunch created by EVA Hotel’s head chef, Alberto Carvalho.

Herdade do Sobroso, which lies on the banks of the Guadiana river, close to the Alqueva dam, had been virtually abandoned when Filipe’s in laws had the opportunity to purchase it in 2000. Filipe, a qualified oenologist, and his wife, Sofia, then moved down from Porto to clear the land, plant vines and successfully renovate and extended the facilities of the estate to include eleven self contained accommodation units and a restaurant. By the summer of 2008, after a lot of extremely hard work, the ambitious couple were able to open the Hotel and start selling their wine. All the wines are produced with the minimum of chemical intervention and they also participate in a sustainability programme to improve the local economy. As well as wine they produce jams, honey, vinegar and superb extra virgin olive oil. The land is also a haven for wildlife - deer, mouflon, wild boar and over sixty resident bird species.

However, it was Filipe´s wines we were there to taste and they did not disappoint.

First of the wines was a welcome drink. An exquisite, pale, dry, single varietal Syrah rose´, 2020, ideal for the wonderful weather and location.

The Reserva white, 2020, was served with a delicate salmon ceviche cleverly adorned with “mango pearls”, followed by the Reserva red, 2019, with a robust half cured cod loin. The Herdade do Sobroso Grande Reserva, 2019, accompanied the main course, an interesting shank of pork.

The meal finished with a tawny port paired with a chocolate macaroon with tangerine ice cream.

All the wines were remarkably high quality and well matched with the delicious food. Filipe was amply rewarded with multiple orders for his wines and the chef was applauded for the excellence of his cuisine. Doubtless the Society will return to EVA Senses for another occasion in the future and the wines of Herdade do Sobroso have become a firm favourite with this writer.

Nigel Adams, Hon. Secretary Algarve Wine Society.